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Sunday, June 30, 2013

A surprise visit by Rahul Gandhi at a workshop of women sanitary workers

New Delhi: Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi has done it again. He had surprised many on earlier occasions with his unscheduled, sudden visit to poor villages, spending nights at their huts and sharing their meals. And on last Thursday the young Congress leader paid a surprise visit to a workshop of women sanitary staff.
Rahul Gandhi was not among the participants at the day-long 'National Workshop on Awareness of Rights and Upliftment of Women Safai Karamchari', yet he chose to attend it to directly get a feeling of the participants. Some of the women attended, told Rahul Gandhi that he will not get 'Dalit' votes unless he works for them to which the Congress Vice President boldly said he did not care for votes but was interested in their welfare.
The Congress leader also assured the workers that the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre was committed to abolishing the "inhuman" practice of manual scavenging. "It was an impromptu interaction and some women did ask questions which had nothing to do with the workshop. But they were very happy to talk to him and it was all very pleasant," an official present there said.
The woman sanitary staff welcomed RahulGandhi’s assurance for abolishing manual scavenging and taking up their other concerns, which he said had brought him there to listen to them."We are very sensitive to your problems and need and will do our utmost to help you," Rahul Gandhi said. When quizzed about the presence of manual scavenging in different parts of the country, he said such practice could not be allowed in 21st century.

Officials said they had no knowledge of Rahul Gandhi's visit to the workshop and learnt about it in the afternoon when SPG officials arrived to put in place required security arrangements. The one-day workshop was inaugurated by Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Kumari Selja.

Rahul Gandhi attends funeral of IAF officer AK Singh in Amethi

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi attends funeral of IAF officer AK Singh in Amethi. Singh passed away in chopper crash in flood hit Uttarakhand while undertaking relief operations. Rahul Gandhi reached Fursatganj airport in the afternoon and went directly to Singh's house. Lots of people had assembled at the martyr's house and his body was cremated with full state hounours. Rahul Gandhi also interacted with the relatives of AK Singh.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Progressive vision:Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi for 50 percent representation to women in AICC

After taking over as the Congress Vice President, Rahul Gandhi has been putting his efforts to strengthen the party. He has been visiting all the states, interact with the Congress leaders and curiously listen to their opinions and suggestions. Further, he always believed that the political system can be cleansed only if more and more young people join politics. He has been gradually implementing in the Congress party by inducting more young leaders at the organisational leadership making it a blend of youth and experienced. And, now Rahul Gandhi has started his next initiative, a move with progressive vision, to ensure adequate women participation in the party.
The young Congress Vice President on Saturday vowed to ensure 50 per cent representation to women in All India Congress Committee (AICC) and other party outfits as he held his first formal interaction with newly-appointed party office bearers. "Rahul Gandhi talked about how to ensure 50 per cent representation to women in AICC...It's not about reservation. It's about their representation. "When he observed that their (women) presence is not in the proportion it should be, he said the presence of women is less but it will definitely be 50 per cent in the coming two-three years," Congress Bhakta Charan Das told reporters after the meeting.
Ambika Sonia is the only women among the 12 AICC general secretaries, while of the 44 secretaries only five are women.Rahul Gandhi also made it clear to the office bearers that those who have been given responsibility will also be held accountable. As the reshuffled AICC now wears a younger look with 52 being the average age of office bearers, the Congress Vice President  also chose the occasion to remind the party leaders that youths should move forward by respecting seniors and taking the help of their experience. Rahul Gandhi’s statement signals that senior leaders won't be overlooked.

Yes, with his moves with clear intention the Congress Party is surging ahead and his new policies have boosted the confidence of party cadres and supporters and all in the Congress now hopes that the party will perform well and Congress-led UPA will retain power at the Centre for the consecutive third term.

Sonia Gandhi, PM flag off the first train through Banihal-Quazigund railway line

Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi inaugurated the Banihal-Quazigund railway section, which will provide all-weather surface link to Kashmir valley, jointly, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. They also flagged off the first train on the 18-km-long section between Banihal in Jammu and Qazigund in Kashmir, marking start of the service. She congratulated the team behind the land mark project.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

UPA believes in inclusive growth, says Sonia Gandhi; assures full support for Kashmir’s development

The Banihal-Quazigund railway section, providing all-weather surface link to Kashmir valley, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday in Kashmir. They jointly flagged off the first train on the 18-km-long section between Banihal in Jammu and Qazigund in Kashmir, marking start of the service.
While speaking on the occasion Sonia Gandhi said that the Congress-led UPA Government at the centre believes in inclusive growth. “UPA Government at the centre believes in inclusive growth. We also take measures for welfare and upliftment of the people at far-flung areas who are deprived off basic facilities. This was the vision for ‘Bharat Nirman’ of late Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru, who had drafted a road-map for the modern India. Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi followed his foot- steps. The UPA Government at centre under the leadership of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh also has been following this vision of development” said the Congress President.
The UPA Chairperson also praised the Omar Abdullah led government in the state. “The National Conference (NC)-Congress coalition government in the state has initiated several development processes to transform the state. The people also are appreciating these efforts. The turn-out in the recently held Panchayat elections in the state undoubtedly prove that the people of this state are fed up with the violence and they want to live in peace and harmony” said Sonia Gandhi.
“The youth here want good education, better job opportunities and a bright career. Similarly, the Kashmiri women want to be self-reliant and they look for positive changes in their daily life. The UPA Government has therefore launched schemes like HIMAYAT and UMEED”, she added.
“The people of Kashmir have the potential and talent to surge ahead and to build a bright future. We need to continue our efforts for development, based on secularism and inclusiveness.  We will stand by the people of Kashmir and will together work to ensure their good future” assured Sonia Gandhi while concluding her speech.
Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah along with Union Minister  Ghulam Nabi Azad were also present on the historic occasion.
The Banihal-Qazigund rail section, which includes an 11-km-long Pir Panjal tunnel, will reduce the distance from 35 km (by road) to 18 km. It has been constructed at a cost of Rs 1,691 crore. The tunnel is the biggest in India and Asia's second longest after China's Wushaoling. The tunnel link will also provide an alternative link to the existing Jawahar Tunnel and will eventually make the Valley accessible by train through the Jammu-Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla railway route. An eight-coach train will start regular operations from Banihal to Baramulla from June 27. The tunnel has been constructed at an estimated cost of Rs. 1,300 crore and taken almost seven years to complete. It has been constructed using New Austrian Tunnelling Method, which has been used for the first time on such a large scale in India. This rail section is very significant as it will provide an all-weather link to Kashmir valley which often gets cut off from the rest of the country due to snowfall during winters.
The Banihal-Baramulla-Banihal train will make five trips daily beginning at 7.10 AM from Banihal and 7.35 AM from Baramulla. Passengers travelling by train from Kashmir valley to Banihal can avail bus service from there till Udhampur where train service is available for rest of the country.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sonia Gandhi in Kashmir speaks after the inauguration of Banihal-Quazigund rail line

"UPA Government at the centre believes in inclusive growth. We also take measures for welfare and upliftment of the people at far-flung areas who are deprived off basic facilities. This was the vision for 'Bharat Nirman' of late Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru, who had drafted a road-map for the modern India. Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi followed his foot- steps. The UPA Government at centre under the leadership of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh also has been following this vision of development" said the Congress President.

Sonia Gandhi addresses the inaugural function of Banihal-Quazigund rail line in Kashmir

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The Banihal-Quazigund railway section, providing all-weather surface link to Kashmir valley, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday in Kashmir. They jointly flagged off the first train on the 18-km-long section between Banihal in Jammu and Qazigund in Kashmir, marking start of the service. While speaking on the occasion Sonia Gandhi said that the Congress-led UPA Government at the centre believes in inclusive growth.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Rahul Gandhi visits flood-hit Uttarakhand; meets survivors

Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi reached flood-hit Uttarakhand to monitor relief operations and also spoke with the affected people there. On Tuesday he made an aerial survey, from Gauchar to Guptkashi and Kedarnath. Rahul Gandhi, who arrived yesterday to survey the rescue and relief operations, spent the night at a base camp set up at Gauchar. He will monitor the relief work being done by the Congress and also meet those affected.

Sonia Gandhi at the launch of 850 MW power project in Kishtwar, J&K

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Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi while speaking at a function in Kashmir said that the rural development has been a priority for Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre. She began the two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir along with Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Tuesday to launch various development projects in the state. On Tuesday morning, Sonia Gandhi along with the Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of the 850-MW Rattle hydro power project in Kishtwar district of Jammu region

Sonia Gandhi in Kishtwar, Jammu Kashmir at the launch of 850 MW power project

Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi while addressing a public rally in Kashmir said that the rural development has been a priority for Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre. She began the two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir along with Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Tuesday to launch various development projects in the state. On Tuesday morning, Sonia Gandhi along with the Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of the 850-MW Rattle hydro power project in Kishtwar district of Jammu region.

Sonia Gandhi in J&K highlights UPA’s commitment for rural development

Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi while speaking at a function in Kashmir paid tributes to soldiers killed in a militant attack in Srinagar. She also said that the rural development has been a priority for Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre. She began the two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir along with Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Tuesday to launch various development projects in the state. On Tuesday morning, Sonia Gandhi along with the Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of the 850-MW Rattle hydro power project in Kishtwar district of Jammu region.  
While addressing the function Sonia Gandhi said, “We cannot forget the tragedy which struck this state yesterday and also we cannot the disaster took place in Himachal and Uttarakhand. My heart goes out to the soldiers who laid down their lives in Srinagar on Monday and I express my sincere condolences to their families. I also salute our brave soldiers who have been putting all their sincere efforts in the rescue and relief operations at the flood-ravaged Uttarakhand”.
“UPA government at the centre gave priority for rural development across the country, especially to improve connectivity” said Sonia Gandhi. Sonia Gandhi also praised former J-K Chief Minister, for the development works undertaken under him in the state. “Indira Gandhi had a special love for this state.  She was very much concerned about the development here.  With this intention only she had laid the foundation stone for Dulhasti power station in Kishtwar.  Like his mother, Rajiv Gandhi also had paid special attention for development of this back ward region of the hill state” added Sonia Gandhi.
Striking an emotional chord with the Kashmiri people, the Congress President said “I am proud that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have shown determination to put the state on the path of peace, progress and development.  Further it is a matter of pride that the number of IAS, IFS officers from Kashmir has gone up. It shows there is tremendous potential among the Kashmiri youth and if given a chance, they have the talent to perform at all levels”. She also stressed that the ecology and biodiversity should be protected while carrying out development projects. 
The Congress President also shared that the UPA Govt at the central has launched several schemes for development and employment generation. "The Centre has launched Udaan and Himayat schemes for upgrading employment skills of the youth in the state”, she said. She also reminded about the ‘UMEED’ scheme for women, which was launched by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and Rahul Gandhi recently, for making the women of the state self-reliant.
Before departure for New Delhi June 26, Sonia Gandhi and the Prime Minister will inaugurate the 11-km-long railway tunnel across the Pir Panjal mountain range, connecting the Kashmir Valley with the Jammu region, cutting short the surface distance between Kashmir and the Jammu region by 17 km. The tunnel will also provide all-weather access across the Pir Panjal mountain range.

The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway often gets closed in heavy snowfall during winter, causing regions across the Pir Panjal from Jammu to be cut off - at times for a few months - each year.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Rahul Gandhi visits flood-hit Uttarakhand



New Delhi: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Monday arrived in flood-hit Uttarakhand, where several people were killed and thousands still stranded, to review the rescue operations.
On Monday, Rahul Gandhi along with his mother and Congress President Sonia Gandhi had flagged off trucks carrying relief materials to calamity-hit Uttarakhand. Trucks carried food articles, medicines, clothes and blankets for the flood-affected people.
Last week, BJP had questioned why Rahul Gandhi did not visit flood-hit Uttarakhand. But the fact is that party's top leadership, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi, were monitoring the rescue and relief operations in the flood-hit hill state.
"It should not matter who has gone (to flood-hit areas) and who has not. The focus should be on rescue and relief operations. Both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party chief Sonia Gandhi are monitoring the situation. VIP visits hamper relief operations. Sonia Gandhi has not visited Uttarakhand keeping this in mind. She will visit as soon as the situation improves," Congress spokesperson Raj Babbar had told reporters when asked about Rahul Gandhi's absence. The Government and the Congress party are busy battling the massive tragedy.
On June 19, the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi had conducted an aerial survey of the flood-hit areas of Uttarakhand on last Wednesday.  Congress President had directed all party MPs and MLAs to donate their one month salary for relief work in the flood-ravaged Uttarakhand. She had also directed all party MPs from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha to give Rs 10 lakh each from their MPLAD fund for carrying out relief work there.
The Congress party had also set up a PCC control room at Dehradun to accelerate the relief work.

Uttarakhand: Sonia Gandhi flags off trucks carrying relief materials for flood-victims

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Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Monday flagged off trucks carrying relief materials for Uttarakhand flood victims. Trucks left from the party headquarters in New Delhi. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi also was present during the occasion.

Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi flag off relief material for U'Khand floods victims

Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Monday has flagged off trucks carrying relief materials for Uttarakhand flood victims from New Delhi. Trucks left from the party headquarters in New Delhi. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi also was present during the occasion.

Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi flag off relief material for Uttarakhand floods victims

New Delhi: Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Monday has flagged off trucks carrying relief materials for Uttarakhand flood victims. Trucks left from the party headquarters in New Delhi. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi also was present during the occasion.
Top Congress leaders were present at the AICC headquarters where Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi flagged off 24 truckloads of relief supplies in addition to the 125 trucks already sent to Dehradun. Besides these two, leaders present on the occasion included Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Road Transport Minister Oscar Fernandes and, political secretary to Congress President Ahmed Patel, AICC General Secretaries Ambika Soni and Ajay Maken.
Sonia Gandhi had on June 19 along with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh conducted an aerial survey of rain-ravaged areas in Uttarkhand where flash floods have claimed over a thousand lives. So far, 80,000 people have been evacuated but more than 15,000 are still stranded across the state.
Congress President had on Friday directed all party MPs and MLAs to donate their one month salary for relief work in the flood-ravaged Uttarakhand as the magnitude of the flash flood tragedy continued to unfold taking the death toll in the rain fury to 1,000.
She  had also directed all party MPs from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha to give Rs 10 lakh each from their MPLAD fund for carrying out relief work there," party's communication department in-charge Ajay Maken had told. Congress has currently 203 members in the Lok Sabha and 72 in Rajya Sabha.

The party had also set up a PCC control room at Dehradun to accelerate the relief work. AICC Secretary Sanjay Kapoor and the party's wing Seva Dal's chief Mahendra Joshi have been sent to Dehradun to monitor the work.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Uttarakhand flood: Sonia Gandhi urges Congress MPs, MLAs donate one month’s salary

New Delhi: Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Friday directed all the party Member of Parliaments (MP) and Member of Legislative Assemblies (MLA) to donate one month’s salary for the victims of the Uttarakhand flash flood.
The death toll in the worst tragedy has gone up to 207 while thousands are still reported missing. According to Ajay Maken, the Congress General Secretary and newly appointed head of Congress’ communication department, Sonia Gandhi has also urged party MPs give Rs 10 lakhs each from their Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) fund.
The Congress party has 275 MPs including 203 in the Lok Sabha and 72 in the Rajya Sabha. There are also two nominated members in the Lok Sabha and 11 in the Rajya Sabha — all nominated by the Congress party-led United Progressive Alliance government.
The members of parliament receive Rs. 50,000 as basic salary per month. This would raise Rs 13.75 million if the nominated members respond to the appeal. Also, Rs275 million will be available through the MLPADS fund for reconstruction of the devastated state.
All MPs are entitled to recommend works worth Rs 50 million per year from MPLADS. While Lok Sabha members are entitled to spend the money in their constituency, Rajya Sabha members can recommend works worth the same amount per year in one or more districts of the state from which they are elected.
Sonia Gandhi, along with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, had taken an aerial survey of the devastated state of Uttarakhand following which the Union Government initiated several measures to rescue locals and tourists who are believed to be trapped and locate those missing. The army has already launched the rescue mission.
Prime Minister has also appealed to all citizens to liberally donate to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund. All such donations are exempted from tax. Uttarakhand chief minister Vijay Bahuguna has also issued a similar appeal for donations to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.
According to Maken, a control room has been established at the Dehradun-based headquarters of the Congress party to accelerate the relief work being done on behalf of the party.

Various state units of the Congress party have been asked to collect and send relief material to Uttarakhand on a priority basis.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Sonia Gandhi lays foundation stone for Rs 2398 cr drinking water project at Nagaur (Rajasthan)



Congress President and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi laid the foundation stone for a Rs 2,938-crore drinking water supply project at Jayal in Nagaur district of Rajasthan on Thursday. This drinking water project would benefit more than 23 lakh people from nine towns and about 900 villages of Nagaur district. The project, being supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), will be completed in four years.
Praising the Ashok Gehlot Government in the state Sonia Gandhi said “In the journey of development, the Congress-led Rajasthan Government has achieved another mile stone by launching this project”.
Referring to the acute water shortage in the state, the Congress President said “I am aware that scarcity of water affects my sisters more than anyone else and they are forced to travel miles to fetch water.  They spend half of their life time doing this. I also know that there was a time when people were reluctant to marry from those regions in this state where there is scarcity of drinking water. But today, the situation has changed positively and there will be more improvements in the future”.
Sonia Gandhi listed out various development initiatives of the Congress led UPA Government at the Centre. Pointing out some of the land mark bills pending, the UPA Chairperson said, “We (UPA) want that no one sleeps hungry. For that we wanted to bring Food Security bill. To make sure that the people and poor farmers get adequate price for their lands, we are now ready with the Land Acquisition Bill”.
Striking a chord with the people Sonia Gandhi said while concluding her speech, “I am confident that that day is not very far when the entire state of Rajasthan will be completely free from the menace of water scarcity”. She also urged the state government to ensure the timely completion of the proposed project.
In the last August, Sonia Gandhi had inaugurated another drinking water project in Barmer district.

Sonia Gandhi in Rajasthan launches power projects in Suratgarh



Congress President and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi laid the foundation stone of two units of 660 MW each at the super thermal power plant at Suratgarh in Rajasthan.  While addressing the gathering Sonia Gandhi slammed the opposition for blocking the welfare measures by the Congress-led Government at the Centre and assured that Congress is determined to carry on with its pro-poor measures.
She also praised the Rajasthan Government in the state for its various development measures aimed at the benefiting the common man. “I am very happy for the fact that the Congress government in the state under the leadership of Sh. Ashok Gehlot has done remarkably well to improve the power situation in the state. As a result Rajasthan today produces more than 12000 MW electricity” she said.
The UPAChairperson also highlighted various development measures taken by the Congress-led central Government and also slammed the opposition for creating obstacles on Centre’s welfare schemes. “I want to warn you that, there are some political parties in our country, who indulge in activities which disturb the stability. Whenever there is a threat for stability that will affect development works negatively and will increase the hardship of the poor.  We must be careful that these parties could do anything to grab power and are not bothered about the difficulties of the people” said Sonia Gandhi.
“Rajasthan has always shown the entire country the way to live with pride and self respect. We must continue this tradition and must work together for further progress. We will surge ahead by continuing our sincere, committed and hard work and will together defeat the anti-development forces who try to create hurdles in the path of progress” said Sonia Gandhi concluding her address.
The seventh and eighth units of super critical thermal power station at Suratgarh will be ready by 2016-17. They have been built at a cost of Rs 7920 crore. The two units coming up at Suratgarh would generate 1320 MW.
Sonia Gandhi was accompanied by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Energy Minister Jitendra Singh. The Congress President is also scheduled to inaugurate a Rs 2,938-crore drinking water supply project at Jayal in Nagaur district.
Sonia Gandhi had inaugurated another drinking water project in Barmer district last August.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sonia Gandhi in Rajasthan launches Rs 2398 cr drinking water project at (Jayal) Nagaur

Congress President and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi launched a Rs 2,938-crore drinking water supply project at Jayal in Nagaur district of Rajasthan on thursday. This drinking water project would benefit more than 23 lakh people from six towns and 890 villages of Nagaur district. The project, being supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), will be completed in four years.

Sonia Gandhi launches Rs 2398 cr drinking water project at Nagaur (Rajasthan)

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Congress President and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi inaugurated on Thursday a Rs 2,938-crore drinking water supply project at Jayal in Nagaur district of Rajasthan. The drinking water project of Jayal would benefit more than 23 lakh people from six towns and 890 villages of Nagaur district. The project, being supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), will be completed in four years.

Sonia Gandhi lays foundation stone for power projects in Suratgarh (Rajasthan)

Congress President and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi laid the foundation stone of two units of 660 MW each at the super thermal power plant at Suratgarh in Rajasthan. While addressing the gathering Sonia Gandhi slammed the opposition for blocking the welfare measures by the Congress-led Government at the Centre and assured that Congress is determined to carry on with its pro-poor measures. She also praised the Rajasthan Government in the state for its various development measures aimed at the benefiting the common man.

Sonia Gandhi in in Suratgarh (Rajasthan), lays foundation stone for two power projects

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Congress President and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi visited Rajasthan on Thursday and laid the foundation stone of two units of 660 MW each at the super thermal power plant at Suratgarh. While addressing the gathering Sonia Gandhi took on the opposition by saying that they have been blocking all the welfare measures by the Congress-led Government at the Centre.
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